What Is the Meaning of a Cat Sleeping on Top of Your Pillow?

"If I keep staring, she'll wake up."
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Every night Bixby snuggles up on your pillow right next to your head. He has his little routine down and knows right where to lie. Not only is your pillow soft and fluffy, he also feels safe and secure and gets the added bonus of cozying right up to you.


Felines naturally have an order of hierarchy -- one cat is more dominant than the other. Maybe Bixby is always up high, staking out his territory. But Brussels, who is more submissive, stays low to the ground and hides in the corners. So naturally when it’s time for bed, Bixby wants to curl up on the highest point of your bed: the pillow. Brussels, on the other hand, is most likely perfectly content passing out right by your feet or on the chair across the room.


Falling asleep leaves your feline companion in a very vulnerable position. If he’s not in a safe spot or not on full alert, predators can come attack him -- at least that’s how it’s written in his DNA. Because you are Bixby’s sole provider, giving him food, shelter and love, he knows that as long as you are right there, everything will be fine. Dozing off on your pillow, right next to your head, makes him feel safe. He knows that if something were to go awry, you’d wake up, alerting him of the imminent danger.


Your furry family members tend to sleep in cozy warm spots -- like in the sun patch on the floor in the afternoon. If you’ve ever woken up sweating from a hot pillow, you know all too well that pillows can be overly warm at times. This might be aggravating for you, but Bixby loves the warmth. It’s almost like your head is his own personal little heater. Sure you may toss and turn a bit, but that pillow is staying perfectly toasty, making an ideal nest for Bixby to sleep in.

He Likes You

Your kitties are a part of your family and you are a part of theirs too. When bedtime comes around, Bixby just wants to be right next to you since he hasn’t seen you all day. But most of you is covered in blankets, so he curls up on the top of the pillow, close to your head, which is the only exposed body part. This way he can kiss your forehead, head butt you to mark you with some of his scent and get some information about you by smelling your skin and hair. If he’s really happy, he’ll purr loudly and knead the pillow, or possibly your hair, letting you know that he’s having a truly blissful moment.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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